Few Constructivist projects made it through the World Wars, but if you’re looking for those that did, you’d be wise to travel to Yekaterinburg, Russia. With over a dozen complexes, the city probably has the world’s biggest collection of Constructivist buildings—and it’s definitely the only place with a hotel in the shape of a hammer and sickle.
The fascinating video above by Ural Life and Culture tours the city and surveys the elements common to Constructivist buildings. Yekaterinburg was a laboratory for Constructivist architects who started building there soon after the movement was founded in Moscow in 1921. Architects from all over the Soviet Union, Poland, and Germany designed 4-5 story apartment blocks and office towers to replace single story wooden houses. The Soviets also introduced new typologies like public baths, kindergartens, and a 14-building secret police complex called the “Little Town of Cheka Officers,” with covered passages so residents could walk between buildings indoors.
The city is particularly remarkable when you consider Russia’s track record with its Constructivist architecture. The country’s most famous Constructivist building, Konstantin Melnikov’s house in Moscow, was only listed as a heritage site, after years of preservationist efforts, in 2013.
Architects: nps tchoban voss
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Planning Collaboration: Evgeny Gerasimov, Evgeny Gerasimov & partners, St. Petersburg (Full construction project design services); Sergei Tchoban, nps tchoban voss Berlin (Building construction, interior lobbies); SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov Moscow (Interior offices)
Design Team Nps: Eugen Pfeil, Christoph Heimermann, Natalia Mantler, Pavel Zemskov, Igor Markov, Silvia Grischkat
Design Team Speech: Sennikova Ekaterina, Dionisjeva Maria
Area: 40000.0 sqm
Photographs: Aleksey Naroditsky
True to the country’s experimental past, Russia’s participation for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale will expose the continued relevance of historical urban ideas by applying them as solutions for contemporary needs. Titled Fair Enough, the exhibition will be presented as an international trade show of ideas, a “marketplace of urban invention” that is both “made in Russia and open to the world.”
The full curatorial text, after the break…
Sokolniki Park of Culture and Rest and the ArchPolis Centre for Territorial Initiatives, with support from the City of Moscow Department of Culture and the City of Moscow Agency for Parks and Recreation (Mosgorpark), announce a competition to generate a conceptual framework for the development of Sokolniki Park.
Developing green space and parks has been an important aspect of Moscow government policy in recent years. Among the most prominent examples are the comprehensive renovation of Gorky Park and its connected river embankments, current reconstruction of the historic VDNKh exhibition centre and a completed design competition for the new Zaryadye Park next to the Kremlin. Reconstruction of Sokolniki Park is the most recent step toward widespread transformation of public space in the capital.
For more information please visit the competition’s official website.
Project Baltia magazine and Yarky Hostel & Space have just announced the Open International Competition for the Design of Summer Residential Unit. Five winning projects will be implemented on the territory of the Hostel by August 2, 2014. The units should enable temporary accommodation for one or two persons. Functions of these units are similar to those of a hotel room.
Architects and designers from Russia and abroad are invited to take part in the Competition. Project teams must not consist of more than 4 participants under the age of 35 years (inclusive).
You have until June 10 to submit your proposal. More information can be found on the competition’s official website.
Rumor has it that Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov’s Bakhmetevsky bus garage may soon be transformed into Moscow’s prime modern art gallery. An “equivalent to London’s Tate Modern,” as the Calvert Journal describes, the historic 1927 structure has been said to be the most likely location for the new museum, dubbed “Pushkin Modern.”
This year ARCH MOSCOW is held within the 4th Moscow Biennale Architecture. The Biennale fully reflects the latest architectural trends and promotes technical innovations, stylistic researches and experimentation in the field of design ideas. The best examples of domestic and foreign architectural achievements are displayed and the principles of development of the quality architectural environment are professionally discussed. Traditionally, ARCH MOSCOW is the best platform for establishing business contacts in the field of architecture, development and construction.
The theme for this year’s Biennale is ‘Urban Blocks’. From the curator’s manifesto: “It aims to show examples of this approach through projects by Russian and foreign architects, but also by showing best practices from countries around the world, especially those where a similar transition towards the urban block has taken place or is taking place at this moment.”
For more information on the 4th Moscow Biennale Architecture please click here.
The Strelka Institute, Moscow’s most innovative school for architecture and urbanism, “might be soon forced to leave its current venue in the heart of the Russian capital” due to proposed redevelopment of the area. Faced by the threat of this possibility, the school formed a competition in order to collect ideas for the relocation. The winning proposal, developed by Squadra Komanda, proposes a “visionary program of development for the disputed and immense architectural legacy from the late-Soviet period.”
Late Soviet architecture constitutes “almost two third of all buildings in Moscow.” As it represents “an unpleasant reminder of the recent past,” many Russians dislike this kind of building. As a result, the Strelka Unsettled, with the possibility for collaboration with the outdated cultural institutions hosted inside the building of the All Russian State Library for Foreign Literature (built in 1966), seeks to offer new scenarios for this “neglected kind of architecture.”
Three teams have been chosen to advance in the third and final round of a competition to masterplan the new International Financial Center (IFC) in “New Moscow.” Once complete, the 460 hectare mixed-use development will add offices, housing and hotels, as well as commercial and social infrastructure to the area of Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye. The finalists are…
Fifteen of 100 hopeful practices have been chosen to move forward in the second stage of the international “Russian Character” competition. Challenged to design a multi-functional Culture & Education Center for the newly developed Butovo Park residential district, the applicants will now begin to envision their proposals for the new venue. Once complete, the center will provide space for lectures, film screenings, indoor (and outdoor) concerts and master classes, as well as various outdoor sports activities and a museum that will showcase exhibitions on the the area’s history. The 15 shortlisted practices are…